Fiberglass doors have been around for a long time; I should know, I’ve installed more than my fair share of them. Nevertheless, working as a contractor, it never ceases to surprise me how little homeowners know about fiberglass doors, not to mention the clear advantages of choosing fiberglass over other door materials.
Price-wise, fiberglass doors sit about mid-way between the relatively inexpensive solidity of steel doors and the expense and style of wood. And that’s all people really know about fiberglass, so much so that it colors their choices. “Steel is cheap, wood is expensive but beautiful. Fiberglass? What for?”
What many homeowners fail to realize is that, due to recent developments in door technology, fiberglass hardly deserves to be consigned to the middle ground anymore. While early fiberglass doors certainly lacked the sort of style and elegance people associate with wooden doors, the fact is that current fiberglass doors mimic wood to an astonishing degree. Without the ability to examine minutely the doors up close, they look, essentially, to be made of the best quality wood, complete with wood grain. Purists will undoubtedly go on about how only real wood really looks like wood, and wax lyrical about not accepting substitutes for the real thing. Those functioning within budgetary constraints, however, will no doubt be glad for the ability to purchase and install a door with all the visual and tactile elegance of a wooden door, at a fraction of the price.
Steel doors have always been known as the low-cost option to consider when security is the most important consideration in choosing a door. While steel certainly deserves its reputation for being both inexpensive and still offering the best security in a door, there is more to the story, at least as regards fiberglass doors. Even compared to steel, fiberglass doors are sturdy and solid, and actually outperform steel doors in certain respects. The steel used in steel doors, for example, is typically rather thin.
In fact, steel doors are almost never pure steel, but rather a thin layer of steel superimposed over a lighter door material, such as wood or a wood composite. This means that it is in fact rather easy to puncture the steel on a steel door, and a few well-placed blows will most certainly dent the steel. While this may frustrate someone intent on unauthorized entry, you will still be left with an unsightly, if mostly intact, steel door. Not so with fiberglass: the fiberglass material is not so easy to penetrate or dent, and unless the person seeking entry is able to really damage the door itself, chances are they will be unable to affect its appearance, much less its ability to guard your home.
All these factors are in addition to the established advantages of fiberglass, such as the following two features it is known for, among others:
- Unlike wood, fiberglass will never require the sort of regular maintenance required to keep the door weatherproof and protect it from rot and decay.
- Unlike steel, fiberglass is an exceptional insulator, and will not radiate outside heat or cold the way a steel door would.
The position of fiberglass along the price axis between steel and wood may pose a difficulty to those with a rather more limited budget, but if you can afford to spend a little more on that door, choosing fiberglass is a very sound investment.
Leah Rattray has been a valued member of the Southwest Exterior team since July 2011. She’s passionate about bringing impeccable service to the company’s customers; she listens and quickly responds to their individual needs. Married to husband Alex for over 5 years, she devotes her spare time to serving at Tower City Church. She also loves music and dancing, reads and watches movies a lot, and treasures the time she gets to spend with family.